Erwin Pfrang

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Erwin Pfrang
1951-
Untitled (from the series: Circe Drawings Based on James Joyce's "Ulysses")
1988
Graphite pencil.
11 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches (29.5 x 25.1 cm)
Gift of Morris Orden in honor of Isabelle Dervaux.
2018.137:5
Provenance: 
Walter Bareiss and Harald Beck, 1991; (Galerie David Nolan); Morris A. Orden, 2004.
Notes: 

This sheet relates to p. 403 in Ulysses (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986).
Known for his dense, nervous, linear drawings teeming with figures, Pfrang was fascinated by James Joyce. The present series is loosely based on the Circe episode, chapter 15, of Ulysses. But Pfrang warns us: "It was never my aim to make Joyce's prose readable by visual means... It was rather a question of what Joyce did to me, of the images that ran through my mind when I first read the novel." In the drawings, Pfrang attempts to convey the "palpable vividness and immediacy" of Joyce's prose and to create a visual equivalent of his stream-of-consciousness writing technique. In the Circe episode, the protagonists Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom have drunken, hallucinatory, and sexual encounters with various characters in Dublin's red-light district. With its emphasis of apparitions and hallucinations, the text lends itself to Pfrang's layering of images in a swirling space.

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